‌Avoiding Burnout

Being successful is much more than just going to class, taking good notes and studying hard. It’s about ensuring that you have a good balance so you don’t get burned out and keep the big picture in mind. It may seem like a no-brainer, but here we offer some solid, practical strategies for helping you maintain your sanity and your health while keeping your eyes on the prize.

I. Keep Up On Sleep!

Sleep ranks at the top of the list of human necessities along with food, water, and air. A good night's sleep leaves you feeling refreshed, alert and ready to tackle the day's tasks.

Studies show that every individual needs a different amount of sleep (most people need between 6 and 9 hours a night). When you don't get enough sleep you may be less alert, have difficulty concentrating, feel confused, be less productive, become stressed more easily, become irritable or become more susceptible to illness.

And believe it or not, regularly shorting yourself quality pillow time results in more than just drowsiness. You can end up with a “sleep debt,” which is linked to medical problems including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Some tips to help you get your zzz’s…

  • Avoid procrastinating. Procrastination leads to panic. Panic leads to a lack of sleep.
  • Take a nap. Naps can help you be more efficient with your time and help you sleep better at night. This nap should not exceed 30 minutes in order to revive and energize you. Naps are usually most beneficial in the early afternoon.
  • Exercise. Establish an exercise routine. Try to avoid exercising a few hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine. This may contribute to the inability to sleep.
  • Take a warm shower or bath. These can help relax your muscles and get your body ready to rest.
  • Keep regular bedtime hours. If your body is on a schedule you’ll be more likely to sleep better.

II. Give Yourself a Break

Have you ever been studying and found your mind wandering, or succumbed to the dreaded head nod/textbook nap? Studies have shown that studying too much at one time can actually hinder your ability to retain valuable information. Because of this, it is very important to take breaks when studying. Depending on the individual, most students can study anywhere from 45-60 minutes before needing a break. Even a little bit of relaxation or rest can make a big difference.

Need a little inspiration? Below are a few ideas for taking short breaks — just 10 to 20 minutes away from studying—to help re-energize your body and mind.

  • Call or briefly visit a friend 
  • Eat a snack
  • Take a short nap
  • Take a short walk or jog
  • Take a shower
  • Open a window and let in some fresh air
  • Get creative and draw a picture
  • Plan the next day’s activities
  • Stretch or do some yoga
  • Listen to music
  • Rest your eyes by focusing on something across the room
  • Reminisce by looking at photos of family and friends
  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Surf the Web
  • Check your e-mail
  • Find someone to trade neck/shoulder rubs with
  • Run a quick errand or two

Remember, everyone has his or her own learning limit. Focus on realizing yours so you can get the most out of your study time!

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University News
November 26, 2014
Nonpartisan political analyst Charlie Cook will usher in the 2016 election season with insights on the key 2014 mid-term election races and a preview of the upcoming presidential race.
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